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Old September 23rd, 2005, 12:01 PM   #1
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Converting 16:9 to Letterboxed 2.35:1 While Pan-Scanning Vertically?

I have a Panny GS400 that can shoot in true widescreen (pretty much all I shoot these days), and I use Vegas to edit. I'd like to mask off part of my 16:9 image such that the result is a letterboxed 2.35:1 image in a 16:9 frame. This should be easy (I think), but I wanted to ask you all what the most simple way of doing this would be? Seems like I could create a mask in Photoshop with an alpha layer, then bring that into Vegas and put it on the top video track, right? Is there an even easier way to do it right in vegas itself, like with the media generator or something like that? And, let's make sure I've got my math right too, I'm guessing the width will remain 720, and then the height should just be something like 306 (720/2.35=306)? Therefore my mask needs to be 60 on top and 60 on the bottom (480-306=120/2=60) I think? Am I on track here? Or wait a sec, I think I need to account for the anamorphic 1.22 PAR in these calcs don't I?

Last edited by Bill Binder; September 23rd, 2005 at 01:34 PM.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 12:23 PM   #2
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Use the crop or clip function, 56 pixels top and bottom. I'm a PP1.5 user, but I know Vegas will do it no problem.

Here is a thread that also discusses using slim mode on the GS400 to achieve the same.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 01:31 PM   #3
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Alright, as I thought about this more, I think you are closer than I am, but it seems more like 53 to me (not that it matters much, we're talking about a couple of pixels here, LOL). I figure 720 wide times 1.22 PAR equals an effective width of 878.4 square pixels. Divide that by 2.35 to get a required height of 374 rounded to the nearest pixel. So, if I have 480 vertical lines less 374 for my 2.35:1 aspect ratio, I get 106 lines left over. Divide that by 2, and I need a mask of 53 pixels on top and bottom. So that seems about right in terms of size.

Now, the problem with using pan/crop is that is an event-by-event solution, which is OK because I can use paste attributes (I think), but seems like a mask would be even easier because I could just stretch it across the entire timeline. HOWEVER, it might be nice to have the ability to sort of pan-scan the letterbox up and down if needed because the framing might not be quite right. So, yeah, that other thread is an interesting read, but the more I think about it, the more I'd like to be able to pan-scan vertically holding my letterbox centered in the normal widescreen frame. So, I think that brings me back to event-by-event using the pan/crop tool if I want to go that route.

So, would I just shoot widescreen like normal, capture and bring into Vegas timeline as normal, set project properties to Widescreen NTSC like normal, then go into event pan/crop. From there, I would crop to 720x374 and use keyframes to move my crop up/down if needed on the footage. But won't it try to zoom it or something? I've had that problem in Vegas crop before? And how do I make sure the cropped part of the image remains smack in the center of my letterbox vertically even while I move the crop section up and down (in a pan-scan kind of way)?
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 01:44 PM   #4
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> the problem with using pan/crop is that is an event-by-event solution,<

Not if the event is a nested veg file that represents your whole project (and all the events in it) :-)

Gary
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 03:04 PM   #5
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yeah, i wish ed t or someone would publish a reference article or document on resolution settings. under the DVD spec, there is 1:1, 1.33:1, 1.78:1, 2.4:1 but no 2.35:1. if you watch Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or most epic 2.35 films, they use the 1.78:1 but fill the rest in with black letterbox even if it is "anamorphic".

first, in vegas, i edit in 16:9 (1.78:1). then i need to create a black mask to fill in the gap so create 2.35 for DVD-spec.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Kleiner
> the problem with using pan/crop is that is an event-by-event solution,<

Not if the event is a nested veg file that represents your whole project (and all the events in it) :-)

Gary
Doh! Pure brilliance... No wonder I bought your Vegas 6 DVDs -- just haven't watched them all yet. <SMILE>

Alright, so let's expand on that for a sec. I'll edit my project just like any other 16:9 NTSC DV project in the Vegas timeline, save the veg, then open a new project and insert the other veg into the new timeline. Perfect. That'll let me do the next steps on the whole thing at once, but...

Is there a way I can pan-and-scan up and down on that original footage (using keyframes in pan/crop) so as to grab the exact part of the original frame I want to then be letterboxed into the 2.35:1 frame? The idea is to always have a letterboxed 2.35:1 image on my final render, centered vertically in the frame, but then to fill that letterbox with whatever part of the original footage I want. Sometimes I might want to use the top-most 374 lines, other times I might want to use the middle 374 lines, and other times maybe the bottom 374 lines, but whatever I grab, I want it to be placed right in the middle of my letterbox for final render.

I think I know how to crop the 720x374 frame, and I also understand how to move/pan that crop outline up and down in the frame using keyframes, but I'm unclear how I get just that 720x374 image to render right in the middle of my final video?
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Old September 24th, 2005, 02:04 AM   #7
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Alright looks like I just edit the whole video like normal in one veg file, insert that veg into a new project, then open the pan/crop tool on that single event (the embedded veg), and do the following. Set width to 374 while making sure "Lock Aspect Ratio" button is NOT set, such that the width stays at 720. Then make sure "Maintain Aspect Ratio" and "Stretch to Fill Frame" are both set to YES. Then click on the button to only permit vertical movement ("Move in Y Only"). After that setup, it is easy to just set new keyframes to move the letterboxed 2.35:1 frame up and down within the actual 16:9 frame in a kind of pan-and-scan vertical process. The result is a nice centered 2.35:1 frame letterboxed inside a 16:9 frame with total control of what part of the original frame ends up in the letterbox. Very, very nice, and actually pretty damn easy.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 11:07 AM   #8
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Just to take this a step further. I've experimented a bit with the 2.35 crop as well as doing a transform on the clip. In PP1.5 you can double click the preview clip and move it wherever you like within (and outside of the frame). So if you put up the safe area indicators, you can actually move your clip quite a bit to get just the framing you want. Now keyframe those movements and you have a lot of flexiblity.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Wood
Just to take this a step further. I've experimented a bit with the 2.35 crop as well as doing a transform on the clip. In PP1.5 you can double click the preview clip and move it wherever you like within (and outside of the frame). So if you put up the safe area indicators, you can actually move your clip quite a bit to get just the framing you want. Now keyframe those movements and you have a lot of flexiblity.
EXACTLY!

That is exactly what I'm doing in Vegas, and once you get it setup, especially by embedding the final project into a new project as a single event, you can simply play the video and mark keyframes through the entire video in one sweep -- quickly and simply panning-and-scanning your letterboxed image up and down on the original footage. For some this was probably very obvious, but for me it is new, and it's a slick little trick to take your already-widescreen footage even wider without too much of a letterbox.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Wood
Use the crop or clip function, 56 pixels top and bottom.
Hi,
Does this same approach work for HiDef footage?

ie: If I crop 56 pixels from my HDV footage (shot on a Sony Z1) am I getting the same 2.35:1 aspect ratio? I've no idea how to figure it out.

Thanks,
-- John.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:58 PM   #11
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http://www.twodogfilms.com/crops.html

The 16x9 crops will work for HDV footage, just stretch up to fit the 16x9 frame.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Jenkins
http://www.twodogfilms.com/crops.html

The 16x9 crops will work for HDV footage, just stretch up to fit the 16x9 frame.
I just don't know exactly how many pixels to do, that's all. Is there a definitive answer? - I'm using 1080i footage from a Z1.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #13
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These numbers are approximate and will get you the look you are going for. Substitute your own pixel aspect to figure out our target.

1. HDV at 1:1 resolution is either 1280x720 or 1920x1080.
2. 235x100 scaled up to 1920x1080=1920x816 (really 817, but keep it an even #).
3. 1920x816 is your 1:1 frame size for a 2.35x1 crop.
4. (1080 - 816) / 2 = 132 pixels of crop on top and bottom.
5. Resize horizontally to account for your funky 1.333 PAR. 1440x816@1.333 = 1920x816.

Same thing for 720p:

235x100 scaled up to 1280x720 is 1280x544 (545, keep it even).
The rest is just simple order of operations math.


Hope that made sense.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:56 PM   #14
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Hmm... it does make sense, but when I try it, Premiere only lets me crop a maximum of 99 pixels each at the top and bottom.

So I'm still confused, even though your explanation made sense...
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Old January 10th, 2006, 12:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat
Hmm... it does make sense, but when I try it, Premiere only lets me crop a maximum of 99 pixels each at the top and bottom.

So I'm still confused, even though your explanation made sense...
Hrm, probably a limitation in Premiere :/ The cropping tools are probably more for small and selective repositioning (almost image editing) rather than cropping/matting a frame.

If it helps, here are some crops you can use - I'll add them to the other page later. Just make a new track and (possibly) set your composite mode. I made all these crops a while ago just because I got fed up trying to figure out the best way of managing matting options between PPro, FCP, Vegas. Little extra work this way, but IMO allows a lot easier control over framing, panning, etc.

http://www.twodogfilms.com/crops/720p---2.35.gif

http://www.twodogfilms.com/crops/1080i---2.35.gif

Right click and save as...
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